Welcome to part two of Communicating with Your Sales Manager: What You Need to Know. To recap, what we’re talking about some things you need to know and be aware of when you have your one-on-one meetings with your boss, regardless of how well you’re doing against your quota.
You need to:
- Know your numbers inside and out.
- Never complain.
- If you need to voice a problem, make sure you bring a solution.
- Listen, listen, listen.
Last week, I covered points one and two in Communicating with Your Sales Manager: What You Need to Know (Part One). If you haven’t read that yet, please do so before moving on!
Okay, glad you’re back! Let’s pick up right where we left off…
If You Need to Voice a Problem, Make Sure You Bring a Solution
When I said that you cannot ever complain to your sales manager, I didn’t mean to say that you can’t talking about problems. Quite the opposite, actually. The kicker is this, though: if you’re going to talk about things that are difficult about your job, you need to spend some time brainstorming ways to fix it. The fix may not always fall under your control, but that’s okay. Coming to your boss with problems will make you look like a complainer, but coming to your boss with problems and solutions to those problems? You’ve now just made yourself even more of a valuable member of your team.
The solutions, however, need to be realistic. If one of the problems you have is that the leads that you’re working are difficult to get ahold of, and in turn are hard to book meetings with, your solution can’t be to lower your quota. That’s not going to happen. One solution may be to ask for assistance from one of the summer interns in getting alternate numbers or email addresses for your leads, where the two of you work in tandem to generate a better list. The main goal here, though, is to show your boss that you’re trying to solve your own problems and not expecting him or her to solve them for you.
Listen, Listen, Listen
The last point to keep in mind is that when you’re communicating with your sales manager, make sure that you listen to what they say. Chances are good that they’ve been in the very same situations you’re finding yourself in today, so listen to them when they tell you what they did to get over that obstacle that’s impeding you from hitting your goals.
Come prepared with questions to ask, and then make sure you listen to their answers. Write it down, don’t type, your notes into your laptop (studies show that you remember more when you write things down).
Make sure that you use the same listening skills with your boss that you use with your prospects, too. Dig deeper to better understand what they’re telling you by asking open ended questions. Questions that start with who, what, why, when, or how are a good place to start. Summarize for them what they’ve told you. Doing that will make your sales manager see that you have truly understood what they’ve told you.
You want to make the most of your time when you’re talking and communicating with your sales manager. Follow the four steps outlined above, and you’re off to a good start.Sales managers that are reading, what other pieces of advice would share?
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